Library Collection Development Criteria

Purpose

This document is a collection of the written policies that govern the development and maintenance of Meriam Library's collections. It outlines current collecting practices and future collection goals.

The policies are designed to:

  • Encourage consistency and cohesiveness for all collection development programs.
  • Improve library efficiency by providing a policy basis for most decisions.
  • Interpret collection practices and procedures to library users.
  • Establish goals.
  • Provide guidelines for selection philosophy.

Collection Priorities

The library must be committed to a rationale-based program with consciously decided priorities to govern daily collection decisions. Budgets are stretched to the limits by both soaring prices and expanding program demands. The most important priorities must be:

  • To support the daily preparation and supplementations of the university's curriculum. The library must have basic monographic strength and reasonable journal representation to provide a balance for both undergraduate and graduate courses offered by the university. In addition, nonprint media should be acquired when appropriate.
  • To support current research programs related to the curriculum and to support professional research as financial resources allow. To this extent, resource sharing and alternative means of acquiring resources should be encouraged.
  • To build support for anticipated instructional programs already approved by the university.
  • Other collection needs can be considered once the above priorities have been satisfied.

Core Guidelines

Authority for the administration of library collections and services rests with the Library Dean. The Library Collection is developed by the Acquisitions & Collection Assessment Librarian, and is informed by the Collection Development Committee in consultation with library and University faculty. In developing and managing its collections, Meriam Library subscribes to the American Library Association Library Bill of Rights, which affirms that:

  1. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.
  2. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.
  3. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
  4. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.
  5. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.

Adopted June 19, 1939, by the ALA Council; amended October 14, 1944; June 18, 1948; February 2, 1961; June 27, 1967; January 23, 1980; inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23, 1996.

Acquisitions Guidelines

Library materials purchased for the library materials budget become the property of California State University, Chico and will be housed in Meriam Library, or on online platforms supported by Meriam Library.

  • Faculty Authored Books — Two copies of a CSU, Chico faculty authored book will be kept in the library -- one circulating copy for the Chico State Authors Collection and one for Special Collections. Faculty authored books include books written or edited by CSU, Chico faculty and textbooks. A chapter authored in a book does not automatically qualify for library purchase. This policy includes retired faculty.
  • Textbooks — As a general policy, Meriam Library does not acquire copies of textbooks simply because they are assigned by instructors for their courses. However, when textbooks are purchased, the normal criteria applicable to all library materials applies.
  • Multiple Copies of Books — As a general policy, the Library acquires only a single copy of each book title selected.
  • Gifts — Donations of library materials should be no more than 15 years old. (Exceptions are made for materials about Chico, Northeastern California, limited editions and other materials of special interest.) The Library does not accept donations of textbooks, single issues of journals (except when needed to fill gaps in existing holdings) or handbooks. Donations not added to the collection are sold in the library book sale, or donated to Better World Books. The Library, by law, cannot offer appraisals on the value of donated collections.
  • Periodicals — Periodicals and journals are acquired to support the teaching and research needs of the university and to provide a selection of general interest publications. In order to maintain periodical costs, the library has adopted a "one-in-one-out" policy. When a request for a new periodical title occurs another title(s) of equal value must be suggested for cancellation. The following guidelines apply to the purchase of periodicals and other serial titles:
    • The title is included in the standard indexing and/or abstracting services or listed in the standard major research guides.
    • Anticipated and actual use by CSU, Chico students and faculty as compared to the use of other similar titles within the subject area.
    • Basic journals presenting substantial factual information in support of the curriculum will have priority over specialized titles of peripheral interest.
    • Availability through Interlibrary Services, electronic access or other resource sharing channels will be considered, especially in the case of high cost specialized or potentially limited use periodicals.
  • Theses — Theses accepted by the CSU, Chico Graduate School are added to Meriam Library's thesis collection. One online copy is made available on the Chico Digital Repository. Bound circulating copies of theses submitted prior to 2009 are held in the Library’s print collections.
  • Weeding and Replacement — Library materials, whether print, nonprint or microform, eventually wear out, may become outdated, or are lost. Such materials should be routinely considered for withdrawal from the collection. Faculty members may also request that outdated, obsolete or damaged titles be withdrawn or replaced. In determining withdrawal and replacement of materials, collection developers and faculty members should consider:
    • What is no longer useful or is obsolete.
    • What might be needed in the future by students and faculty.
    • Which faculty members should be consulted on materials being discarded or replaced.

    In addition to routine evaluation, the Library periodically performs large scale weeding projects for subject areas of the collection, working in conjunction with library faculty and disciplinary faculty.